March/April 2015

Ebony, Aliya S. King – Standing in front of the nearly 100 students from Inglewood, Calif.’s, Warren Lane Elementary School, Washington’s booming voice and stern look has transformed her into the quintessential schoolteacher… Washington is no stranger to the children. As part of the Turnaround Arts program, she comes into the school regularly, interacting with the students and introducing them to the arts through field trips and acting classes. On this day, they’re traveling to UCLA to see a live performance of The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, Debbie Allen’s interpretation of the legendary ballet. “Today is very important,” states Washington, addressing the youngsters. “The performers know that a group of students from Warren Lane will be in the audience, so how you behave matters. Think about what you want them to think of your school? And what do you want them to think of you?”

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